A longtime Federal Communications Commission official has
been named executive director of the National Association of Telecommunications Officers
Elizabeth W. Beaty, deputy director of the FCC Office of
Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs, assumes her new duties with NATOA Aug. 30,
replacing outgoing executive director Lee Ruck, who has resigned to purse other interests.
Beaty, a native of Birmingham, Ala., brings a wealth of
regulatory experience to her new post, having served in various positions since joining
the FCC in 1991.
"I hope what I bring to NATOA, based on my experience,
is a better understanding of how federal regulation works," Beaty said, adding,
"to be able to help translate, if you will, regulatory language into layman's
NATOA members became acquainted with Beaty during her days
as chief of the financial-analysis and compliance division for the Cable Services Bureau.
During her time there, she managed a staff of 30 attorneys,
accountants and paraprofessionals that reviewed and provided the final dispositions on
cable-television-rate complaints. Her staff was credited with churning out 700 rate orders
in two years, thereby reducing the agency's backlog by some 83 percent.
"We're absolutely thrilled to have her,"
NATOA president Jane Lawton said. "We interviewed her a year ago, and we thought she
was a strong enough candidate to bring back again."
Despite almost a decade in the federal regulatory arena,
Lawton said, Beaty will have little trouble shifting her emphasis to local oversight of
"She knows the government scene. She's been on
the federal side, but she'll also be able to embrace and understand the concurrent
jurisdictions between federal and local governments," Lawton added.
Beaty will join NATOA just in time to take part in its
annual convention next month in Atlanta, where the open-access controversy and the
FCC's decision to side with the cable industry will undoubtedly be the topic of the
"She's going to be just in time to get a big dose
of the membership and the industry," Lawton said.
Ironically, the keynote speaker on the final day of the
convention will be Beaty's former boss, FCC chairman William Kennard.
Kennard is expected to come under fire for deciding to file
friend-of-the-court briefs with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals supporting AT&T
Broadband & Internet Services' bid to overturn a lower-court ruling upholding
local governments' authority to require open access to cable-broadband networks.
Beaty has a bachelor's degree in business management
from Warren Wilson College and a 1991 law degree from Brooklyn Law School. She was
admitted to the New York State Bar Association in 1992.
Positions she has held at the FCC include staff attorney
with the Mass-Media Bureau and assistant bureau chief with the Office of Government and
"I've sat across the table from NATOA and
they've always done a wonderful job of advocacy," Beaty said. "Now
technology is changing so quickly that we're all going to face the challenge of
understanding what those changes mean and how best to represent the needs of all of these
local governments' constituents."